Connecting to Nature in the Lab through “Earth Song”: The Malleability of Implicit and Explicit Attitudes towards Nature

Behavioural Views in Environmentalism

The focus of our empirical study was to determine whether a short laboratory-based intervention manipulating the self-nature relation through a new construct of environmental problem salience is capable of causing a situational change in implicit and explicit attitudes towards nature. We were interested in how the self would connect itself to the state of nature portrayed as a threatening problem for which the self is possibly responsible. The participants were divided into two groups based on their environmental profiles and exposed to a video clip which implied a global environmental problem. The study treatment was designed to make the environmental problem salient. We have observed a clear effect of the field of study, yet the sample size (N=77) was not sufficient for the treatment effect to be statistically significant. Our study brings mainly preliminary result and further and more robust research is needed. We observed a slight change in attitudes. The attitudes had divergent directions according to the environmental profile of the recipient. The results suggest that the participants with a low environmental profile more deeply perceived the problem as someone else’s problem and dissociated themselves from the nature framed by the treatment, while the participants with a high environmental profile accepted the problem and associated themselves with the nature framed by the treatment. Our findings are in agreement with the critique of the apocalyptical discursive pattern, which considers planned change of environmental policy with apocalyptical discursive pattern to be ineffective.

Klíčová slova:
environmental attitudes; Connectedness to Nature Scale; New Ecological Paradigm Scale; Implicit Association Test; implicit attitudes; context sensitivity

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